Every year, August and September seem to brim over with preparations, events, and fellowship with students who are excited to be back at school. This year we packed the schedule even fuller as we did our first true “New Student Outreach” (NSO) week. For InterVarsity in the Blue Ridge Region, NSO is traditionally a week (or 2) where some type of event or outreach is done every day in order to meet as many students as possible and invite them into our community.
So we began by praying for the campus before the students even arrived.
Then we prepared over 2,000 flyers, put up around 200 posters, and created one big tri-fold that explains what we do and who we are!
We had a meeting to welcome back our leaders, and set up a table at CNU’s club fair.
We greeted freshmen and transfer students for over 2 hours, passed out 900 flyers, and invited folks to our upcoming events.
After working up an appetite, we headed over to the dining hall to grab dinner with more InterVarsity members and some of the freshmen they had just met. (Alumni – remember Harbor Lights? It got revamped a few years ago and is now called The Commons.) It was a little sentimental to be greeting freshmen in the same building we had dined in as a freshmen, ourselves. – especially since most of the buildings we knew when we were students are now gone. The campus continues to change, but God stays faithful and continues to work. Speaking of change…
After dinner we headed over to the Freeman Center and had a game night.
And all of that stuff happened in just the FIRST DAY. Whew! Later that week we had a giant twister game on the lawn, handed out cake in the student union, and hosted a big cookout on the James River volleyball courts before large group. At each event we asked those passing by to join us, handed out flyers, and invited folks to small group Bible studies.
By the time Thursday rolled around, we were pretty tired – but really pumped for our first large group meeting. This year our overall numbers at large group have decreased some, so we ask for your prayers as we continue to invite and pursue students on campus. An exciting thing to note, however, is that we as staff have met more upperclassmen who have been coming to large group for the first time. It seems that God is drawing sophomores and juniors to InterVarsity after finding their college experience lacking, and they are searching for spiritual depth and community.
Finally, we wrapped up our first week of class with a trip to Huntington Beach on Saturday. We were blessed to have perfect weather – and we’ve never seen so many watermelons eaten in just 3 hours!
Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our busy season! Your prayers are being felt and we are grateful to have such a big support team as we embark on another year’s journey of sharing the Gospel on campus at CNU!